Basics of Tarot | Thoth Vs Rider-Waite Tarot Decks – The Devil & The Dame

Basics of Tarot | Thoth Vs Rider-Waite Tarot Decks

Thoth Vs Raider-Waite Tarot Decks

In the last post we talked about how Tarot readings work and how changing your life path can alter the outcome of the reading by avoiding it or by making it come true.

To further this thought, I believe this is why people struggle to trust in the cards. However, there are other ways your reading may not have met their needs or their question's needs. You could've used the wrong layout or placed the cards down incorrectly, so always make sure you understand he situation around the question as much as possible.

If it's overly broad, you can do a larger general reading such as a Celtic cross or a 6 Month Spread. Then ask them if they wanted a particular place to be read again for more information. Ask them why they are wanting a reading. Get a little background on the situation to make an informed choice on the question at hand. They, themselves, may be asking the wrong question anyway. There are basically two types of tarot readers; Crowley-Thoth and Rider-Waite. Both of these come from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, however their makeup and feel are quite different. Even how they're read separates them though you'll notice the majority of cards are very similar. 




This deck was delivered second, but don't think it's worse off for that. Thoth is a rather complex deck and comes with many, many books for reading and learning about it. This deck is more for those who are advanced. It's truly made for a student of the occult. This deck uses elemental dignity to determine the well- or ill- dignified cards in a reading. You must look too the neighbors and see if they are part of the suit or element as the others and use this to decide how each cards will be read. This particular deck that you'll likely see most often is created by Freida Harris based on Crowley's sketches for his personal interpretation. Crowley, himself, is very controversial, so his life story is likely the reason for his deck not being used more. 





The RWS decks are mainly for beginners since it's a simple set with simple uses. You can study them and learn then quickly. It typically only comes with the one book to learn the interpretations. The RWS simplifies readings by adding in the idea of reversed cards, making it quick and easy to determine if it's ill-dignified. Some readers don't use reverse cards when reading, though, so this seems to be a personal choice. The traditional way is reading them as Dignified or Ill. This is the MOST popular type of deck because it is so user friendly. Rider had also designed his own deck in the most well-known french styled images with pops of color. They were painted by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909 and since then there have been hundreds of remakes and artists who took the deck and gave it their own interpretation. 


Difference in the Cards:

The real obvious differences between the two are that the Thoth deck uses Aeon instead of the RWS' Judgement and RWS switched the placement of Justice and Strength. While the reasoning of why these cards have changed are rumored, no one for sure really knows, but choosing which deck to work with will also help which layouts work best for you as a reader. The Judgement card sticks with the Christian idealism of the Rider decks that we see throughout, but Aeon sticks mostly with the Thelemic deities. There are many other differences with the Major Arcana, such as Lust, Art, the Universe, and Adjustment, though their art and significance are clearly likened to Rider cards, where Aeon is not.




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